Wednesday, 16 January 2013


Why companies fail - the rise and fall of HMV
by Philip Beeching (from Philip Beeching: Social Marketing and Advertising Insight)

This was actually written last August, but is even more pertinent in light of recent events. It's also a fascinating glimpse behind the scenes from the man who "worked on the HMV advertising account for over 25 years".

My two favourite bits:

I said, "The three greatest threats to HMV are, online retailers, downloadable music and supermarkets discounting loss leader product". Suddenly I realised the MD had stopped the meeting and was visibly angry. "I have never heard such rubbish", he said, "I accept that supermarkets are a thorn in our side but not for the serious music, games or film buyer and as for the other two, I don't ever see them being a real threat, downloadable music is just a fad"

Oh dear. Also,

I got to know two young entrepreneurs from Jersey, Richard Goulding and Simon Perree who started the highly successful online games, music and video retailer, in 1998, and I remember them saying to me, "We were just waiting for HMV to turn their big guns on us but we just kept on going and getting bigger and bigger, and thinking they must be going to get their act together soon and come after us but they never did". I think this comment says it all.

Indeed it does.

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